With westminster Politicians curently seeking to ban/debar Scottish & Welsh MP's from having a vote on English issues...it feels like it's time to dust off a few hardy perennials from my spleen ridden back-catalogue!
A heady, unsteady, hand-held camera journey by train, bus, car and boat around the length and breadth of the UK to determine our supposed,
Nigel Buckland is a Welshman, who has lived in Cardiff, London, Manchester and Dublin. He currently resides in Glasgow.
Nigel has one question:
“What makes us British”?
Join ‘Bucky’ on his one-man journey throughout the length and breadth of this fair-land as he hits the starry heights and plumbs the sordid depths of present day Britain in all it’s flame grilled, happy slapping, kebab eating, sunbed lying, paparazzi spying, footie lovin’, cosmetically augmented glory.
Is Britishness a worn, tatty old coat used to hide the imperialist past of English Oppression? United Kingdom? Bit of an Oxymoron? Dis-united Queendom?
The Proms, The Battle Of Britain, Remembrance Day and the Queens Speech… Does anyone give a toss about those supposedly hallowed aspects of Britishness these days?
Is it just world sporting events that brings out the British Bulldog?
Are we all imbued with an innate sense of Britishness, hard-wired in our genetic makeup and nurtured through ritual, culture and upbringing? Or is that a load of old bollocks?
How ‘British’ are the Irish, the English, the Scottish and the Welsh?
Aspects of Britain
Blackpool Pier, The White Cliffs of Dover, Rhyl and Saltcoats. The worn-out, old-world splendour of halcyon day Victorian seaside away-days…
We’d all traipse off to the beach to ‘take the air’ come summer. Gambling, fighting, shagging, drinking more shagfighting and skin cancer, that’s what it’s all about today. Discuss.
No Sex Please, We’re Frigid.
Are we, as a nation, sexually repressed? Compared to other European countries and parts of the USA we seem to be in a state of denial about sex.
It’s still very much ‘under the counter’ here. Or ‘Under the Duvet’ Although traditionally it was the English that suffered from this malign accusation…Are the Celtic nations safe from these pernicious ‘crap in the sack’ allegations?
The British porn industry flourishes. Although, personally speaking, British Porn is probably the least sexy and most penis shrivellingly vile pornography in the known world. Let’s rescue our natural sexuality back from these ugly oinkish sleazy sexist bastards.
Old School (pre-‘The Superstar DJ’phenomenon) Disc Jockeys.
Working Men in Working Men’s’ Clubs.
Clubs & Societies.
Forget all the Superstar DJ’s let’s meet some of the old club/pub disc jockeys who didn’t rap or scratch, but simply tried to please a mixed crowd of Skinheads, Rastas, Bikers, Rockers, Punks, Greebos and Greasers AND put on a smooch or two so couples could cop-off at the end of the night.
Bless the Old School Disc Jockey, they just wanted everyone to have a good time and dance.
Teddy Boys and Tattoos.
1956 – 2006. It’s the 50th anniversary of Rock’n’Roll!
Rock Around The Clock hit UK Cinema Screens 50 years ago, yet no one’s celebrating or marking this historic occasion with special events, or television and print retrospectives. WHY NOT? British Teds fucking Rocked.
The Lost Sub Culture. Come on! We get hippy and punk documentaries & retrospectives everywhere, simply because all the old punks and hippes now work in television.
But the Teds were just too working class and subsequently didn’t get media jobs because their brief time was a tad too early for the burgeoning television revolution. Although you still see 60/70 year olds with slicked back hair, just like they had it when they were 17.
Shit man, these old rockers are all dying out and no one gives a shit. Where’s their ‘Major Retrospective’ in the fuckin’ V&A? Eh? Why isn’t Robert Elms, Mathew Collinson, Verity Lambert or some other ‘Art Pundit’ waxing lyrical about Drape Coats’ Quiffs, Jiving, Twisting and Brothel Creepers?
Politics and Dissent.
Do we really need to regard ourselves as British? hasn’t the term ‘British’ been hijacked by the BNP & NF? Where have all the communists, Trotskyites, Stalinists and lefties gone? And anyway, aren’t we defined by our immediate locale these days?
Aren’t we more likely to think of ourselves as Cornish, Orkadian, or Londoners first, and British second?
What about the Union Flag? Can I wander around the town centre wearing it? Shit, no fucking way! It’s still called The Butchers Apron in some parts. Ain’t no Black in the Union Jack.
Isn’t Patriotism the last refuge of the scoundrel? What does patriotism achieve? What’s The Point of Britishness?
The Culture Divide.
Class War? Class Peace. Class Dismissed!
Are we all becoming middle class? No we fucking aren’t’ okay? There are more marginalized poverty trap housing estates and schemes in the UK than ever. Why are we now so utterly blind to social inequality?
Thatcher’s’ Children, hell bent on a materialistic spending orgy of excess borne out of the shallow myth of ‘Individuality’, further exacerbated by our lack of belief and spirituality? What do other religious types living in the UK think of our secular society?
The National Press
Does an Australian press baron really control Britain? I believe a Tabloid Mindset prevails beyond the lazy headlines, the tits and arse and the ‘cor blimey’ laddism. Does this all-pervading gutter press affect us on a psychological, subconscious level?
So, The Sun newspaper employs some of the brightest, and most educationally priveledeged young journalistic minds in the country, well so fucking what? They peddle garbage. Those ‘journalists’ should flay themselves to death with hot pokers dipped in vinegar for lowering the common good of the whole nation. Fuck ‘em all.
Not In My Back Yard. Racial & Cultural Intolerance.
Britain’s Premium Land Grabs.
Is the UK just becoming one giant Asda Car Park, festooned with Sky Satellite dishes? That’s not actually a question more a statement.
The green green grass of the golf course. Keep off the Lawn Tennis association Grass. Fencing-off our heritage. I say kill retired self-made businessmen golfers and ex-coppers. They’re all basically total bastards. That’s MY Bigotry ‘out-there’
Drink and Drugs. The Truth.
We’re binge drinkers and dope smokers. Taking E’s, doing coke and playing merry hell. When is it wrong to party? Why does it get so very out of hand. Would YOU go out ‘Pubbing & Clubbing’ in any major UK city on a Friday or Saturday night?
Taking drugs to get into something rather than out of it…Notions of free will and freedom of choice.
Europe And the USA.
Why are we seemingly in the thrall of the USA when Europe is so much nearer? We only know about Europe ‘cos of Euro Trash! And we slag off the yanks for knowing shit-all about other cultures!
Modern Imperialism and the Mass Market. Yank Movies and television. Isn’t it time we reasserted ourselves? Why are so-very-many British movies so shit?
It’s time the Atheists made a stand against all the bigoted intolerance exhibited by so many religions. I’m sure there are lots of inclusive and tolerant religions in the UK but we don’t hear too much about ‘em!
Why are we letting people lecture us about morality and ethics when they clearly have one rule for themselves?
Fight Fight Fight Fight Fight
We’re a violent society. Why?
When is it right to fight? For a belief or religion? To protect oneself or one’s reputation? Let’s have a scrap. Saturday Night’s NOT alright for fighting.
War. What is it good for? I’ll tell you what. When a country is at war the whole social stratum of society pulls together in a collective equal shares effort. Turning the country into an equal opportunities ideal state Because ALL the nations wealth, manpower and resources go towards one end. Winning the WAR. Hey presto Socialism via the back door!
We work longer hours than most of Europe have less public holidays AND don’t get properly paid when we put in overtime. Well, not me personally but The General Public per-se. What the fuck is that all about? I’m fully at one with my leisure time.
Noam Chomsky questioned current conventional notions of ‘dumbing down’ in the USA. He noted the vast proliferation of sports channels on TV/Cable and the in-depth committed and intelligent sports commentary and punditry shown. Not so much ‘Dumbed Down’ as ‘Dumbed Off’…Brits might not be into Politics, Art & Philosophy, but they know shitloads about Football, Cars & Celebrity
Art For Arse Sake
Where are the British artists? What have they got to show for their time studying? What does it all mean to the public, other than a deliberately provocative headline in the Daily Express?
What does ART reflect on, in our current cultural climate? Should Art need to reflect on anything? Why am I asking these ponces anything? They’re all whiney entitlement-sucking swine.
The English Eccentric.
Does he still exist? What’s he doing in fucking Surbiton? Syd Barrett, Vivian Stanshall, Frankie Howerd, Arthur Brown, Jarvis Cocker? Lord Bath of Longleat. All done to the Small Faces tune, ‘Lazy Sunday Afternoon’
Health, Fitness, Dieting, UK Fashion, and the ‘ticking time-bomb’ of obesity
Come on! Let’s All Jog For Cancer! - What about an Atkins diet and a sunbed tan? Some Khaki Cargo Pants and fudged-up finned hair, so we all look like fucking Big Brother ‘Hopefuls’. Shit Off. I want Lipstick-RED-DRAINPIPE TROUSERS and a tight stripy tank top. British mens’ clothes are conservative, uptight & boring. Everyone wants to look like a squaddie motorcycle dispatch rider.
Keys To The Kingdom
The British Broadcasting Corporation. Wherever you travel in this fair-land you’ll always find a small corner that will remain forever the South Of England. It’s called the BBC. From Inverness to Dublin and Cardiff, you’ll find outposts of the BBC still headed by, and run by an Upper Class English person. Is it the last gasp of Empire or the last nail in the myth of a classless meritocracy?
The BBC’s old notions of ‘impartiality’ now seem like lazy fence sitting tedium in the new multimedia cyber-blog virtual worlds of the Internet. The WWW is full of non-‘balanced’ (Balance? that’s boring) journalistic opinion, righteous anger and heartfelt articulation.
How will “Auntie Beeb” square her cold-fish mealy-mouthed bulimic ‘core-values’ in this 21st century media melting pot?
C4 needs a good kicking too.
With everything smashed, daubed, dented or not working, I ask when did everyone STOP GIVING A SINGLE SHIT? Buses stinking of piss, nothing running or working properly, hospital staff, ambulance & Fire service staff needing protection from The Public that Public they supposedly serve?! When did everything get so hateful?
Generic High Street Shops